The fifth game of the world chess championship between titleholder Gary Kasparov and challenger Anatoly Karpov was agreed drawn after 36 moves and nearly five hours of play Monday. Kasparov leads the 24-game match by a score of 3-2, with one win and four draws. He retains the title in the event of a 12-12 tie.
Play resumed Monday after a three-day break with challenger Karpov using the advantage of the first move to press Kasparov.
Karpov simplified the position with early exchanges of material, but experts said that he was aiming for a small but safe superiority.
Ljubomir Ljubojevic of Yugoslavia, one of the world's top grandmasters, predicted Karpov's course of action.
"Karpov is a little better _ it is a typical Karpov position," Ljubojevic said.
Kasparov appeared more subdued than usual, sitting stock still at the board instead of fidgeting tensely.
His opponent was as impassive as ever, the only sign of tension revealed by occasional glances at Kasparov's face.
Kasparov again defended with the risky King's Indian defense in reply to Karpov's queen pawn opening.
Karpov offered to repeat the wild variation which took place in Game 3, when Kasparov sacrificed his queen _ the most powerful piece.
The champion refused the challenge and opted for a quiet continuation, geared toward neutralizing Karpov's opening advantage.
Experts felt that Kasparov risked playing into Karpov's hands with his docile choice of variation.
World junior champion Ilya Gurevich interpreted Kasparov's change in strategy as a result of discussions during the recent postponement.
"I think Kasparov's seconds told him to cool down, play solid and not be overconfident," Gurevich said.
Some observers were openly disappointed by the sudden shift from rampant aggression which characterized the match so far.
"The game will be a draw _ and it will be boring," Brazilian master Lincoln Lucena predicted early in the play.
(Complete moves will appear in Wednesday's Times.)